Have you ever been a guest at someone's house for dinner and been served a meal that is a complete turnoff? This is of course a common scenario when traveling and encountering a new cuisine but it can just as easily happen at your boss' dinner table. Maybe it's way, way, way spicier than you can handle, or the meat is strange or unfamiliar, cooked a little too rare, or not cooked at all. Simply not liking a certain food is one thing, but having your stomach roll at the thought of eating a dish that was proudly put in front of you by your host is quite another. So, the question begs to be asked:
While some of us get a vicarious kick of watching this kind of thing on TV shows devoted to 'gross' food, it's a quite different matter when the food has been specially prepared for you. Politeness and the feelings of your host are very important, but do you really want to spend the next 24 hours camped out in the bathroom?
Obviously a true allergy or a religious/moral restriction are easy to navigate, but often that's not the case. Seasoned travelers are used to this and are adventuresome eaters because it clearly comes with the territory. But as mentioned previously, this can happen close to home and doesn't necessary mean gross (to you) or unfamiliar food. Often, it's the level of spiciness, the preparation, or some food combination that just doesn't work for you.